November 07, 2020 · Bob Gass
The transforming power of gratitude (1)
“In everything give thanks…this is the will of God” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV
Giving thanks infuses joy and resilience into your daily life. British theologian John Henry Jowett said, “Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” Without gratitude, your faith becomes a hollow religious practice and your love for others crashes and burns, leaving you feeling drained of joy and acting like a martyr. When Paul says, “In everything give thanks…this is the will of God,” he’s not saying every circumstance you encounter is necessarily God’s will. Pastor Jack Hayford observed, “In every insurance policy is this provision, ‘except it be an act of God,’ and culturally defined, [they’re] the worst things that happen. I’ve heard people interpret it, ‘Well, whatever happens is the will of God…give thanks…and praise God’…The Bible doesn’t say everything is God designed…it says in it, through it, and beyond it He can work good…‘The will of God in Christ’ is that we give thanks and praise God in the middle of it. Why, because we feel good? No, but because praying without ceasing introduces a song of praise into the situation…Muddling and praying our way through the best we can isn’t going to be good enough. Whereas the best He can make of it will be something that will bring the reason the Bible tells us ‘in everything give thanks.’” Bottom line: in any given set of circumstances, you can choose to whine or choose to worship—and you can’t worship without giving thanks!